An easy lemon dessert bar recipe made from scratch. These outrageously delicious Lemon Bars are made with a shortbread sugar cookie crust and a sweet lemon pie filling made of eggs, lemon juice, and sugar. The crust features a classic bakery-style bar with incredible almond flavor.
Lemon cookies are delicious but these Sunburst Lemon Bars take “lemon love” to the next level. Each bite is like a little slice of heaven baked into an easy sugar cookie bar shortbread cookie crust filled with a gooey citrus lemon pie center.
Lemon Pie Bars
Lemon Bars are the quintessential summer dessert. It’s a popular dessert bar made during the summer throughout the United States. Sunshine Lemon Bars are named after “the sunshine state” of Flordia.
The powdered sugar and lemon icing glaze provide a nice sugar crunch on top of each bar. The moist lemon bar center is soft and full of delicious citrus lemon flavor that combines perfectly with the crunchy lemon glaze topping and almond shortbread sugar cookie crust.
Lemon one of my favorite flavors to experiential with and when you try this lemon bar, you’ll understand why. These scrumptious citrus lemon pie bars are an early birthday present to myself and I couldn’t be happier to share this from scratch lemon dessert bar recipe.
If you’re a lemon fan, this citrus dessert bar recipe is for you. If you love shortbread cookies, then this recipe is for you and finally, if you enjoy simple recipes, this is the one for you! In a matter of minutes, these lemon pie bars come together. Plus, this recipe uses simple ingredients like sugar, eggs, flour, salt, lemon juice, butter, and powdered sugar.
Sugar Cookie Bar
The crust to these Lemon Bars starts by creaming sugar and butter together. Flour is then added to give the sugar cookie crust structure before the lemon pie filling is made.
I had a box of almond paste in my pantry and I love to add almond flavoring to shortbread desserts. Instead of using almond extract, you can incorporate almond paste into the shortbread dough for an added level of flavor.
Almond paste is sold in most grocery stores and it can be found in the baking aisle near canned pie filling or marzipan. Of course, you can omit almond paste altogether or opt to use a teaspoon of almond extract or simply use nothing at all.
Lemon Pie Filling
This lemon pie filling is made from scratch. The lemon filling is made with fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, eggs, and flour. The eggs make the lemon filling smooth, luscious, rich, and custard-like.
Meyer Lemons VS. Lemons
My lemon pie filling features regular lemons. Because regular lemons are more acidic vs. Meyer lemons, extra sugar must be added. However, regular lemons feature more of a tang. Meyer lemons are naturally sweeter and more balanced. If you’re looking to cut the sugar in this lemon bar recipe, try Meyer lemons.
Sunburst Lemon Bars are a childhood favorite and an easy dessert to make for any occasion. I love to make these for Mother’s Day, Christmas holiday parties, and any time I’m craving a sweet lemon dessert. Lemon bars with a sugar cookie shortbread crust are my favorite as a summertime citrus dessert.
If you love tender almond shortbread and sweet lemon filling, you’ll want to grab this recipe and make it today!
Sunburst Lemon Bars
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup powdered confectioners' sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup packed almond paste (totally optional for almond flavor)
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/4 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
- 1 cup powdered confectioners' sugar
- 2 - 3 tablespoons lemon juice or water
- Heat oven to 350°F. Line a 13x9-inch baking dish with parchment paper. Do not use foil for this recipe. If you don't have parchment paper to easily remove bars from pan after baking then proceed with an ungreased baking pan. In large bowl fit with a mixer, beat base ingredients on low speed until dough comes together. Press mixture evenly in bottom of a 13x9-inch pan. Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until light golden brown.In medium bowl whisk eggs. Beat in filling ingredients; granulated sugar, flour, baking powder, and lemon zest. Beat in 1/4 cup lemon juice.Remove the partially baked base from oven. Pour filling evenly over warm base.Return to oven; bake 25 to 30 minutes longer or until the top is light golden brown. If the top starts to get too brown, cover with foil and continue to bake until center has settled. Cool completely, about 1 hour.In a small bowl, combine powdered confectioners' sugar and lemon juice or water. Evenly spread glaze over the top of the cooled bar.Refrigerate Lemon Bars until center is set then cut into bars.
Sweet lemon citrus filling with an almond flavored shortbread cookie crust. Topped with a tart lemon glaze. Everyone loves these Sunburst Lemon Bars and they couldn’t be easier to make!